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The top three banks for customer experience

Customer experience in the retail banking sector remains bedevilled by new and historic challenges spanning service consolidation, corporate restructuring, conduct risk and channel access, among others. Yet there remain clear areas of differentiation which are setting the top performers apart. alva’s latest 2015 Customer Experience Index* reveals the habits of the top three banks in the UK for customer experience and how they are generating the best “reputational return” for their buck:

1. Nationwide

Branch experience: Nationwide is gaining recognition for the success and expansion of its in-branch remote mortgage advisory service, expected to reach 400 branches following exceptionally positive feedback from customers during its pilot. Nationwide is among those taking the lead on rethinking and redefining branch experience in the digital age.

Wearable tech: Nationwide’s smartwatch banking app is a UK first and was recently shortlisted in the 2015 FStech Awards. The app aligns with the innovative features of its revamped mobile banking app, including “quick balance” and “instant savings” functionality which do not require logging in.

2. Barclays

Branch experience: Barclays has completely reconceptualised the traditional bank branch in digital terms. The bank has announced plans to introduce iPad branches to local community centres and venues. By doing so, the bank stands to avoid ongoing anger and upset over branch closures in rural areas while pioneering service access.

Offers and rewards: Barclays has also benefited from noise over its new Blue Rewards programme. While it remains to be seen whether or not the rewards programme will stem net losses from account switching, the move is being recognised as innovative and potentially giving cashback rivals a run for their money.

3. Halifax

Gifts: Halifax continues to benefit from a stream of advocacy for taking actions which reinforce its branding and key messages around “giving extra”. The building society’s “sweetened” £125 offer to new customers is recommended by consumer heavyweights such as Martin Lewis, while mortgage customers express their delight for home welcoming gift packs sent to them by Halifax when moving in.

– Joel Thompson

*2015 alva data

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